Today I'm posting you some photos and links to the Neo:printprize 2016 in Bolton, UK. I decided to submit my work for this prize because Gill Saunders (the Senior Curator of the V&A Museum) was one of the judges. Saunder's essay 'How wallpaper left home and made an exhibition of itself' (In The walls are talking: wallpaper, art and culture) was a fantastic reference point for my Masters, and opened up a world of wonderful artists to me. So I was so excited when I found out Birds of Paradise was one of 113 works selected for the show from 640 artworks from 30 countries. Photos of the exhibition can be seen here.
Nancy Campbell Artist/writer, Editor of Printmaking Today.
Rachel Gladfelter, Director, Pace prints New York,
Gill Saunders, Senior Curator, Victoria & Albert Museum.
Jo Stockham, Artist, Professor and Head of the Print Programme, Royal College of Art.
This work forms part of an ongoing exploration of the intersections and boundaries between the artist as mother, the domestic sphere, and evolving representations of childhood in the media.
The softground with a la poupee backing has a gentle floral motif reminiscent of wallpaper from the era when the modern concept of childhood first evolved, intertwined with imagery of Toddlers and Tiaras-style beauty pageants. Transforming their kitsch, glitzy costumes into something reminiscent of the beautiful plumage of the birds of paradise, but clothing them in the feathers traditionally seen as a commodity questions the objectification of our daughters and reflects societal pressure to prioritise physical beauty.
The wood-grained texture of the silhouette (the flattened grain itself participating in an ongoing dialogue between conservation and consumption), encapsulates my children playing in a self-built fort, carefree and unconstrained by commercialized constructions of gender or sexuality